tv Charlie Rose PBS September 7, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
>> charlie:wel tom the program tonight our continuing k komp in charlotte new york david brooks the columnist port he or she times. >> i trust mitt rm any. if our problem were sewingal equity i trust barack obama. but if we have 3 and growth for neither party has a good adenned ga. who do i are trust? who is going to give me balance. navigate fees cross current. one of the roan i say the democrats from the advantage hail obama hasn't come out with a plan, he seems like the guy who is cape believe of doing did. mitt romney has not shown what. >> we continue former chief of staff for president obama, bill
daley. >> there will be a point people do have to govern. i do not believe that the leadership and the republican members of the congress are irresponsible. maybe it's everybody's going to look down in the abis and say you know what we may want to continue our games but this has gotten much more serious. >> charlie:we con krawd this evening with mark halperin, maggie and swron heilemann. looking at the politics of this convention. one of the weakest things i think about governor conventions which had success they drove no he message out of. there was no single message that said to people, remember what we said m tampa we're going to drill it in your head. i think the obama campaign will build off the president's thursday speech for the feks few days on make tg bit more concrete what would a second term be right. >> charlie:more on the democratic convention when we continue. funding was provided by the
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> charlie:we continue this evening our coverage of democratic national convention from charlotte, north carolina. president obama accepted the no, ma'am naig of the democratic party. he reminded voters of the promises he made in 2008 and how he had kept them. out lined his vision for the country next 4 years. choices voters will face. we begin with david brooks a-columnist with the new york times. >> great to be with you. >> so wr to you think the democrats are this moment we're taping this on thursday afternoon before we hear the president. we know the first read tee find what kind of man he was.
bill clinton defined what kiepped the party they were and opens it up for him to talk to the future. i would say leading. ip wouldn't have said that couple weeks ago. i've always bp of the view what romney was a slight advantage, a slight advantage here because i'm basically pessimistic of the economy and europe. if you're a president 47 when people ask what's receipt electrics year 43 that's favor -- i felt romney was at a slight advantage in this race. we now have basically two conventions and the democrats i think have gained the edge. the republican convention in retrospect looks worse. it lacks worse because romney basically took on with paul ryan a pretty ambitious agenda and wimped out and did not articulate why we need this agenda and that they're going to push. he create a spoil vacuum which bill clinton was happy to fill.
>> charlie:he looked like a happy man. >> he kept saying. >> charlie:i got to get this, come on. really full -- for bill clinton. the republicans seemed to have missed an opportunity to talk about the future. they were so concerned about talking about mitt romney. >> they have a plan for the future. it's a secret man now and it is this medicare reform and tax reform, pretty big things. they missed the opportunity to talk about what they have. the democrat haves nothing right now. i've asked probably 15 or 16 very senior democrats over the past couple days, what one law wowl like to see president obama pass if he gets a second term and the a answer is zero. no one can give me an answer. i know they want to preserve medicare and student loans and pell grants and medicate. 4 years ago we had a bunch of big proposals sit inning front
of us. we were sitting democratic convention. health care plan, house whoing a whole bunch of policy proposals. we've got nothing now. everyone keeps saying to me don't worry the president will outline t i hope so. >> charlie:there's no word what it might be. you would think there would be some indication where the president wants to take the party. they know that's one of the big issues that has not been tee find. where is the future? >> i have neafer seen a president -- certainly not this president, he's not one to surprise us. we meet before the state of the unions, big addresses. i've never been 'surprised by his addresses. he rehearses, talks about these policy proposals. he's telegraphed nothing. maybe he will have some big proposal. talking to his people i don't think they're enthusiastic. i towt they're going to
telegraph before they want 0 wait for getting into a negotiating process. what does he he want to do for 4 years. >> charlie:how would you define where the be where the election will be decided. >> it's about who can do balance. there are three things need to be done. economic gross fiscal discipline and sewingal equity. they're three different goals. they're in tension with each other. >> charlie:so if our problem was debt i trust mitt romney if our problem with a sewingal equity i truce barack obama and we have 3 and growth for neither party has an agend darks who do i trust? who is going to that have gate these cross currents. one reason i say the democrat haves the ang obama hasn't come out with a plan to navigate cross currents, he seems like the guy capable of doing that. >> charlie:do you think that the president has a plan to deal
with republicans in the congress? >> no. i don't think either of them has a plan. they're the fantasy of american politics is that my party is going to run a crushing victory and the other side will go away. the fantasy from the president cox being from the background he comes from i will explain the facts to them or the facts to the american people and so many people will be persuaded it will work. >> i've been reading the articles about the president jodi kantor, david mare innas peelter baker. there's coming up in vanity fair by michael louis. what comes out of this competitiveness of the president number 1. number 2 something bordering on arrogance and number 3, that sometimes he can believe more in his abilities than justified. >> yeah, well that's for sure an i think the fourth thing i would add is the antipolitical
aloofness. the senate wasn't that thrilled to be there. and i think this this has been a conscious strategy of the people around him spreafting him are the from of the politicians. he's a transformational figure. >> charlie:transformational to what? >> i don't know. he doesn't want to be one of these. >> charlie:if you want to ab transform aigal figure you have to take us somewhere. >> right. >> charlie:you don't know -- you've covered him intensely. >> at the end of the day i think the stuff about hope an change and the guy he was 4 years ago and i read for refreshment the speech he gave 8 years at the democratic convention, i still thill that's who he is. he would still hike to be the guy who navigates left and rye, he would like to live in that wormed but he's become cagey, become i know what my party does not want me to go anywhere
beyond what it believes in, how far in advance can i get. the answer has been not very far. hoping. >> charlie:but he seems to be the kind of man that wants to be great, would like to be a great president. >> bill: ond george -- would think about it. if you don't have a war that defines you and that's the best wail to greatness. >> right. >> charlie:it is somehow a huge bold idea. could there be some kind of marshal plan, man on the moon program? add a spec second term if the president win. >> peggy noon an he seems to regard politics as an unpleasant duty on his path to greatness, that the act of shaking hands had somehow i have to go through this to get to my mount rushmore. i think that's somewhat genuine. think we know what the duty is and i think we know what the
agenda is frankly, which is we're at a moment of potential national tee klein. fraichg link roost veflt an ronald reagan revived the american dream. there's an agenda starts with big tax reform, agenda out there to be used. >> right. i was at a thing in charlotte with michael porter from harvard business school. a chart of 8 things we could do. things like making sure immigration works so skilled people stay here. things like making the regulatory environment simple so people can invest. chasing the medical twice overseas. our regulation tion are stringent an so complicated you want to get away from them. he had a bunch of 8 ditch policies infrastructure spending. 80% of the country behind them. put them in one big package combine with fiscal discipline, lay it out there, see what
happens. but that's the kind of risk. >> charlie:but he doesn't do that because he think's it's too risky. >> he has become defined over the last two years without the sense of mission in the first 2 years defined by the negotiates progress excess he's in. whatever position he's taking within that negotiating process. second i would say this about the white house itself, the original principles have left and they have been followed in almost every case by somebody with a staffer mentality, rahm emmanuel big figures replaced by servants of the president but not independent big figures and i think some of the confrontation has gone down in the white house. it's more smoothly running opt domestic side than it was. less dynamic, less electric. >> charlie:on foreign policy you wrote a column this has been a very dwod foreign policy
president. >> yeah. all the flaws he brings to domestic policy which is the incremental rism has served us well without a huge tee fining conflict. >> charlie:huge tee fining idea? >> yeah i'm not sure there is. but sometimes going back toize an hour, he didn't have a huge tee fining idea make sure the world doesn't screw up. one of may here owes says you're ien ship of state. if the water going this way balance. if the water is blowing that way, stay anote. in foreign policy, that right now without this cat clis mik confront tag i think that's what he should be doing and what he has done. >> charlie:do you have any idea what voters will decide this ee lengths? >> you know, generally it's character.
it's like me who react like me. >> charlie:is it really? what makes you believe it's character berather than best interest. >> economic interest. walk around the upper west side of manhattan. walk around working class arkansas people voting economic interest. they're driven by who is like me. part is sanship is not driven by ideology. they look at what party is filled with people like me. the democratic party is a party of professionals, a people who want to have hillary clinton's lifestyle, michelle obama, barack owe bam marks elizabeth warren. grew up middle class. >> charlie:but the bluff collar worker in that category. >> depends what category. the white is in the republican cat gor i looking at this convention the democrats have given up on that demographic.
eeght those there goes back to the scott irish culture in the sent century individual, self-reliance, competitive toughness. they say who is like me, who is competitive individually self-reliant lie yant? the reapness probably do more of that. m ohio valley where a hot of scots irish those people tend to vote republican on a working class. john kerry lost by 23 percentage points. barack by 18 percentage points. >> charlie:do you believe the american people want to be talked to in a way that says these are the hard realities? this is the way the world is working now. we're in a bad place and we need to do something on the revenue side. we need tie tack this problem and i need you to support me in that effort. we're in this boat together. >> if you ask me as a punned it
i say yet. when chris cyst trisay blood, sweat toil an tears. politicians are not dumb and nobody ever takes them up on it. >> charlie:those in office are not dumb. >> i debated paul ryan self times and we have debates on the merits but then we have a debate on the political analysis. one of the debates we have i think his agenda is risky if not suicidallal. he think the country is changed willing to embrace the hard medicine. >> charlie:you think it's suicidal for -- y-they don't trust government. >> charlie:there's the poipt you shouldn't trust. >> they say i have benefits. hammered by this recession you're going to hammer me with something else. i think you really have to give threm a sense we will protect. ever ri one is in together, we're all going to suffer equal
ri. if the republicans can make that case forcefully and show them the graphs where we're headed i think maybe could make that argument. the way we're going about it i don't think they have made that argument. on balance, it's necessary to change these entitlement programs. the case hasn't been made to the american people. ross perfect owe, warren buffet buy partisan effort. >> charlie:do you think the president would know -- second term what he would be prepared to do if he entbainled in hard-helded analysis of entitlement the same weigh he did afghanistan, pakistan? >> yes in conversations with me, people like me let's put it that way, they have a story to tell in negotiations last summer they were prepared to make some serious changes. but that's always in the future for people like me, tears lucy is putting down the football in
six months we're going to kick that football but then the football is never there. i've been waiting. the first thee days before he was inaugurated, he gave a dinner with columnist and went to washington post and said 6 months from now it's all going to be -- we are going to hit hard in getting our situation under control. it's always been 6 months in the future. >> charlie:efl said this before in an interview with me the problem the last 4 yores has not been getting the policy rights, getting the commune -- i don't want to say marketing, communication of the policy. is he right about that? >> not really. well -- no, i don't really think sovment he's been more of a big government guy. >> than i thought he would be and the american people thought he would be. >> charlie:he became a big government guy in the presidency? >> i have a dear friend
columnist washington post. we both admire obama. we admire different people. >> charlie:the obama you see is different than he sees. >> eg sees populist fighting for the working class. i see trend holding guy fix our politics. so we both like that guy. but i would say in the last couple years, e.j.'s guy has emerged than may guy. but i don't think my guy is dead. >> charlie:is there one politician anywhere that defines what you believe would be the type profile that would get us to where you think we need to be? >> i'm tended to say no, i toned point to a whole group of people. you know who i would say just about any mayor or governor in this country. we have fascinating group of mayors. >> charlie:and their place is the laboratory. >> right. whether it's rahm emmanuel, mayor bloomberg or fof nors mich
daniels. these people are conducting policies. personally wish wosh conducted in washington. you don't have to go far. you see change every day. i remember watching rahm emanuel come pain inning chicago. facing obvious challenges. fixing that school, fix pg this police district, very practical, get it done. and he would look like the happiest man on earth to be out of the washington and do what he loves. >> charlie:theul for coming david brooks. back in a moment krnches we contl tailly january 2 pleased to have him back on this program. i should suggest he had been earlier very close to president clinton. understands politics and chicago. ii want to begin with that question you heard david brooks the kind of leadership that he admires are people who are
mayors and governors because they have made those maces a laboratory to try to make government work. do you agree with that. >> i do agree with that. i think the mayors even more so han the governors, first of all, they have real power, they're less part is san most of them. they doesn't have parse san divides in big cities. they have the ability to test things, get them done and move them on and implement them. washington has become for the presidency a very difficult place domestic cli. there's still power in the president foreign policy and military affairs but on the domestic side the congress over the last 40 years who is never in charge has gone a long way in taking away a lot of the ability of the president to implement what he wants. >> charlie:what is the most important lesson you learn? ation i said you were involved
with al gore and bill: ton and democratic party. when you went to the white house insield the oval office, what did you learn? >> i think the biggest is your prize in the 10 years when i left president clinton as commerce secretary and joining president obama chief of staff, it was pretty partisan when clinton was there. they did impeach a president. it was pretty -- newt gingrich was a very tough leader who had led the revolution for the republicans to take back the house the first time in 40 years. and he was the leader of the group. what surprised me first of all was just enormous bitterness and anger deviciveness that was deep. i think a lot of that was the last 10 years of the fragmentationch our politics, media, fact that you've got
these media organizations that take one side or the other and may drive it, drive it, drive it. >> charlie:basically cable television and talk radio. >> yeah and over the last few years we could have a year around campaign mentality. a lot of that is driven by that kftion on television shows on sunday. it's all about the politics. so what goes on in a campaign which used to end at the of the campaign and then you govern now bawtion of the year-round poll sticking and campaigning you're governing with the same climate and attitude at the height of a campaign. we're nft middle -- towards the end of this campaign so you expect that sort of intensity, drama, charges, the energy. but to have that continue as it has over the last number of years, year round in trying to govern in that climate is i think a very difficult thing. and that's what washington has
become. >> charlie:do you think how to fix it. >> no. if i knew, i would tell everybody but i do believe at some point this sort of deviciveness and anger -- president clinton i thought last night -- he said a lot of great things. his optimism. his don't bet against america and we're coming back. things aren't as bad. yes they're difficult for lots of americans no questions about it. we are still very much the envy of the world in all sorts of way, for education, business opportunities. and somehow we've got to get that back to understanding this has been a very difficult 4 or 5 years for the american people. >> charlie:speaking of president clinton we're tape thg before president obama speaks to the convention tonight. pretty clear where he wants to go. he has to lay out what he wants to do because the first lady talked about him and former president talked 'the
republicans. he has a clear agenda david brooks mailed the point he doesn't what the president wants. do you know what the president wants? >> i think the president has been clear. he wants an economy that's growing, one that's reflects our values more than we have over the last number of years. so he's been very clear. state of the union, acceptance of nomination, a few events in a president's year where he gets the total focus of america on that speech and i think he will lay that out again tonight. last opportunity for him to have done that wags in the state of the union. >> charlie:everybody weants the economy to grow. broad principles everybody agrees on, is it not? what we want to do know is what his plan is to get there. >> he will lay that out. if you go back and look at the last year and 3 yawrs now, he's been specific on things. they haven't gotten done.
we have numerous votes in the senate on jobs bill last fall that were very specific. he put out a budget with pieces. they were debated in the senate, never in the house but those were specific ideas that were never really -- no one on the other side really wanted to negotiate on those. they had their own agenda. >> charlie:she say you were never prepared to negotiate on entitlements. the. >> the speaker knows that's different. we were in goargses and we had lots of conversations and the president publicly talked about the need for democrats to understand that we had to go with some difficult decisions. >> charlie:boehner speaker of the house same question i was prepared to make the deals on the revenue side but the president came back to me and said, i need more revenue and that's what in the end ruined the deal. >> what happened really in my opinion what really ruined the
deal if you remember we had been waiting and waiting for the gang of 6 to come out with a plan. they came out 30 some republican senators said they would sign on board to what trillion 200 bill i don't know dollars of ref nie. we were merely trying to get out of speaker boehner 800 bill i don't know obviously over 10 years. we went back to him not as a condition but said, look, if we are going to get the votes. >> charlie:right. >> democratic vote in the senate, we must -- and he had never and his leadership team had never gone through any count on the man we were working on as to what votes they had. it was pretty simple for me to say, look, if we were all going to have a hard time getting votes you would have a hard time with 800 bill i don't know. when senate republicans have signed on board to 400 bill i don't know more than we were
agreeing to say how were -- we have to take a look at whrrnts this deal we have been talking about private can get the votes. this was all about trying to get the votes and it was our opinion at that time that we ought to look at trying to get a little more revenue to get more votes but it was not either or. >> charlie:that's the first i heard that explanation. i don't know if you talked about that before or not. that's the first time i heard that. you're basically say yes indeed you did say we needed revenue but it's because we have a commitment in the senate from republicans in the senate that they need this in order to get their votes. >> obviously democrats would have said, wait a minute how bad of negotiators are you people? you have republicans saying they would sign on board 1.2-trillion and you settle for 800-billion. what is wrong with you people. it was about an acknowledgement this was making it more difficult for us to get
democratic votes if you would republicans willing to be courage us and stand up saying they were for 1.2 trillionlion in revenue. that sent us in a difficult swaying. the speaker had a sense his caucus was grg to have a hard time taking 800 billlion of revenue. if fell through. >> charlie:how will that be different if the president is he re-elected and house is controlled by republicans? >> we are facing a bob reuben said we are on the titanic looking at the iceberg. we haven't hit it yet but it's right there. in january of this coming year, you will have all tax cuts expire and you will have a see questionings strayings, continuation -- you have defense and you have more domestic cuts. we cut almost a trillion dollars a year ago on the table is
1.2-trillion plus the tax cuts in '01 expiring. >> charlie:we know that and people have been talking about that. what makes you think the president will convince the republicans if he's elect gend titanic is facing the iceberg? >> first feel all they had have to acknowledge this debate has gone on american people have spoken. there will be a point people really do have to govern. i do not believe that the leadership and the republican members of the congress are irresponsible. maybe it's everybody is going to look down in the abis and say you know what we may want to continue our tbains but this has gotten much more serious. and if by chance europe doesn't get their straightened out, then you're talking about a rather difficult situation in early '13: so i'm an optimist i do
meef the system can work. if it can't work when you're looking at the iceberg then we have the discussions will shift to a fundamental discussion of does our system function as it was set up 300 years ago in a way that's responsible to the american people. >> charlie:how do you think barack obama will be different in the second term if he wins? >> my sense is a re-election in many ways, not liberates but gives a president the opportunity to really deal long-term because they're not in the political gain as early. >> charlie:if in fact that's true, you must know the head and mind of this guy. where do you think he would like to take the kun trillion in a big way. in terms of whether it's relationshipness the middle east or economic model for the future? >> my sense is that strength in
the economic model and making it fair. nothing happens if we don't deal with the long-term fiscal problems. you are not going to get economic growth that's sustainable if we don't solve the long-term fiscal problem. it's not as though we can kick the can and statement hope we get economic growth. it will not happen if we don't -- i think he understands. in order to do all the other things he may want to do in energy and immigration and all these other things and to see some better opportunities for people, educational opportunities, it's not going to happen if we don't address the long-term fiscal problems. not only because the cliff is right in front of us but the hole is just too big to avoid. we cannot get around this thing. >> charlie:had you came, there were many, many people i remember all the conversations i had and interviews i did said this is such a good choice. bill daily knows america,
corporate community, democratic party and he will help with the problem that the president has with the business community. did you do that? >> i did a fantastic job on that. >> charlie:what's your evidence? that was a joke. >> the truth of the matter isfis people are republicans so let's get that on the table and i think there has been a strong misunderstanding of the president's relationship with the business community. he did not come from the business community, obviously. when ul run against as he's doing right now governor romney who has a long business careeren affinity by him because he's one of them understandable. 4 years ago comeument organizers associated with barack obama because that was his career many years ago. from the very beginning because
of the depths of the problems in our economy the action president took gm bailout, a lot of people in business felt it was a mistake. tihink he has been proven right krmpleght some say it may be crucial in states that might give him the presidency. >> i think it was also crucial in helping as president clinton said to put the foundation underneath the collapse going on. not just politically. i don't think in january of '09 as this things was melting down, the president and his advisors no matter how political they may be, gee, in '12, ohio, michigan. >> charlie:they were doing what they thought was best for the country. >> exactly. ill think it's been proven to be the right decision. not one favorable among the business community at the time to be frank with you. i saw that. there was a sense that this is interference that shouldn't take place.
but if you're the captain of the team you will do whatever it takes within reason to save that team and that's how president saw it. >> charlie:would the business community say the president was right? >> i think a lot will still say it's wrong. >> charlie:mitt romney is one of them. >> they thought the normal bankruptcy process should have taken place. that could be two or three years. look at the airlines. >> charlie:bigger idea this isen treution of government having less to do with the emergency in the economy and unemployment. >> but when you're not the captain of the team, you can have those sort of observations. when on the field and you're the captain you have to make a split decisions. i think he made the right decision. mill won people jobs and related jobs saved think so. >> charlie:beyond the history where you came up whether tweas law, community organizer or
community environment whether it has to do with wall street or run ago company, do you think they fundamentally didn't get each other? they have to talk to each other because you brought them together. >> i think there were -- one of the things, also, that the president's rise, in a short period there are' weren't he those long relationship tion. president clinton was governor for many years, around for many yeergs. if he have didn't run for president he was around the president, traveled the world. all that was celebrated in '08 about the short period tbhi president obamas with a involved in politics and government. impact of that was thought could have on the american people and sort of celebrating that as the outsider who suddenly was in the biggest game one would e could imagine that in many ways because there weren't those long
relationships with ep many of those people, they had a certain sinicism and skepticism about him that i think. >> charlie:existed. >> exist today and were magnified during the crisis of '09 and '10 and then at least in the financial service sector when you went to do dot frank then it made it worse in that sector. as they were going thank you fundamental transformation tion in many of those businesses if not businesses becoming exstingt in the financial. >> charlie:here comes the question you've bean asked more than once: so you've known bill clinton for a while barack owe bam march for a while euch' been work, up close with both of them. how are they different? >> first you start with the personalities. president obama is a someone who as president clinton described last night, there's a little
less drama around him. >> charlie:passion on the middle. >> exactly. that's real. it is real. and people come to this business of politics and governing from different histories and bill clinton's was somebody who vesm was a street retail politician who over many years one ngs les. >> charlie:ap progressive conservative -- >> progressive in a conservative state. i understand the moderation. you couldn't be too progressive and get re-elected. he was forced to be in the middle many ways. president obama and i really believe this when i came into office after the republicans took control of the house that there was a real opportunity there to do -- i saw with clinton and gingrich, nafta, host of things with president clinton and gingrich.
i thought this was an opportunity because of president obama's style and philosophy that he and boehner could do a deal. >> charlie:the great grand bargain they both wanted. >> one of my miscalculations was the depth of the difficulty of the leadership of the house republicans to convince their caucus as to where i think they thought they needed to go and that was to a big deal. >> charlie:i'm not convinced the tea party members. >> i think it was -- that wing of that party of that caucus of which the leadership of the house didn't create -- again gingrich created the revolution, elected the members, drew up the platform and drove the platform. tea party takeover basically of the republican house was not crafted. >> charlie:in washington. >> by bain he were or leadership of the house. they kind of rode the wave.
so when those people came to washington, they looked at the leadership of their own group as ok we'll talk to them like anybody else. >> charlie:exactly. it's not about me be here because of may relationship with the constituents at home. >> so the thought the speaker could deliver that maybe i would say maybe on my part was a miscalculation. >> charlie:thank you. back in a moment. stay with us. >> charlie:we continue with mark hal pir in, maggie haberman of politico. i'm pleased to have them here. i cannot think of anybody i would rather talk to you trying to underis a stand the dynamics of the political process coming out of the democratic convention. we taped this before the president speaks but we assume he's requesting to try to late out as much as he can the future. that's his role on thursday night. >> opening they saw coming out
of tampa, roll out at some point before the general election. they made it clear the president was going to be a bit more specific what he would do in the second term. big are vulnerability for his re-election as his first 4 years people want a sense of what he would do differently. if he can convince a second term in working with republicans, in addressing the economy would have more promise than he's displayed 0 far, he has a good chance ever winning. expect that not only be the message here but coming out of one of the weakest things about governor romney's -- no message out of. no single message remember what we said in tampa we're going to drill it in your head. i think the the obama campaign will build off the president's thursday speech for the next few days on making it more concrete what would a second term be like. >> i thought the message reit
raying of that idea that those people who voted for barack obama four years ago may not have a reason to vote for him and it's ok and we have all the confidence to make that selection one you will be proud of. >> you did a better job of distilling it than they did. he spent a part of his time after leaving tampa wandering around louisiana. >> charlie:and building on a theam he tried to articulate. >> it's not just that. everything i agree with but this is one area where romney leads the president. areas where he they think he's better. economic management piece. you have done a great kri particular on barack obamas management. what are you going to do? they didn't say anything tbhat for three straight nights. bill clinton wednesday night keyed in to why that was or at least tried to make the political argument what that
was. they can't say what they would do. if they say what they would do and believe, they walk right in our trap which is all they believe is stale poll 6. >> charlie:bill clinton said. >> obama campaign believed they were boxed in. that's the argument they have been making. all these guys believe in taking back the stale poll 6 of the past. republicans do want to cut taxes on the rism, they do want to cut spending on middle chas and worse off. there eal in a prime to be slayed by not just those negative critiques but the president offering his own positive agenda. for a lot of independent and undecided who thick the economy is the most important thing, they're not dumb. they want to be talked to like adults, he this they want to to see policies. a lot of them don't want to litigate the past. ok, how are you going to get us
out of this mess. they have a deep appreciation this is not a norm afl cyclical recession. they're pessimistic and aipg shut something they want to hear from both of thieves candidates. >> charlie:what are five take aways or 7 or 4 that you have of clinton last night. i had people say to me, it's as god of speech as i've ever seen him give. >> certainly the best speech i have seen him give. i they he did it was serm too long. it was a mistake for the obama campaign to have him go last. the assumption people will still tune in. people went to sleep tor because it went on 448 minutes and the closing was not really strong. i think he accomplished a ton in that speech. he did the current president a world of good. >> charlie:here is the
question, why hasn't the president been able to do that himself? >> laugh) that's the great question. this president is not he spref good colleague wrote a piece about thvment he doesn't really communicate. c he doesn't communicate? >> he is tht good at selling himself. he has said this himself. effectively sell his own agenda. atbree with what john said about what he need to do tonight. if you're going to make the case mitt romney and republicans are not putting forward anything that's an alternative then you do need to offer something and how specific you get is the question. but how he sells it also is the question. the first lady's speesm was very good political without being overly political almost all biographical, policy woven in. bar being obama the man. i don't think they want to hear the story again. they want to hear about the future. >> charlie:you were going to say about why he had not said
this before. >> first of all, it's a very high standard to judge anybody against bill clinton at a particular kind of thing. >> charlie:they ought to learn from bill clinton. >> they do. >> charlie:not saying anything you haven't said before. >> we're talking about a speech. getting up and doing public communication. bill clinton no one as political walk and mythical strategist and mix in the oracle gift. barack obamas or a tor. bill clinton is talker and persuader. you think about the ways in which he has a mastery of policy, he marshalls date at that and evidence and then marries that up to incredibly plit wal strategy. it doesn't demean barack obama those are not his skill set.
president clinton is not is that inspiring. think back to his -- >> charlie:best i heard brak church in memphis. >> very rare he would have peoplen their feet and in tears in the way barack obama has done over his career. it's an incredible skill he has. i think obama is never going to be that. >> charlie:this convention and we assume the president will perform well. everybody is teed tup and capable as we have seen in the other conventions. where does that lead the campaign? does this put them on a bump ra ject trito put this thing away? >> there's not much give right now in the elector at. i think it's possible that the president could get a 3 or 4 points out of this at least temporary. 3 or 4. convention tend not to linger but that would be a pretty big. >> charlie:until the debate. >> until the debate. ability of us to sit in a cop
vengs city, listen to the speeches, jump to the con clowg regular voters -- limited. president moves up to 50% after this in the national polls that would be significant. >> charlie:what's magical go 50%? >> the general view amongst some people in politics and certainly the romney campaign if you're undecided you're probably not going to be in the end for the president. an incumbent below if% on the election day often will lose. what mitigates against that which manies he could win even if he's at 48, 3 things. i think it's still an open question whether governor romney alternative -- >> charlie:you agree on. open question whether he will be seen as an alternative. >> yes. >> two i still believe the obama ground game will be superior.
that that could be worth an additional 1, 2 or 3 points in some places and finally the electoral college, barack obama is going to do very poorly in a lot of red states by recent standards in a mayor juror party candidate. what is true unless there's a disaster tonight, governor romney electoral college position sno better. >> charlie:no easy path for him. >> and he still has very few paths without having put florida away without having put in play pennsylvania, michigan having a tough time in ohio. there's just not a clear way for him to get 270 electoral votes. that having been said he's probably exwetting close to 250, if things go well and spend more money. that's a close race if the loser is starting around 250 but he's
not there. that means obama poll standing kerntly is not as bad as a different incumbent in a different race. >> the one thing i would say to that the romney theory, which is the challenger in -- undecide vote, 5% of undecided voters rule in politics lived wft president for 3 1/2 years clesser to 4 years. if they're not for him by now all they're looking for is an acceptable alternative. the he only slight twist is you have such interesting dynamics with the two and has people think of them which is to say governor romney holds a pretty wide lead the question of economic management and that is the primary issue in america right now, the economy people care a lot about that. >> charlie:right. >> on the other hand he holds a wide deficit, likability, shares your values, trustworthy,
honest. president has a wide lead there. what exactly the intermay of those forces within a tbifn undecided voter are. what are they looking for in the debate? an acceptable alternative or two things playing in their minds? he sounds like he knows more because he avenues business guy, i don't trust him he he seems alien to me. they have such stark differences work on micro level. it's not clear the dynamic romney gives 3 great debate performs a not clear the undecide you had will tip to him. i don't know that will happen. some mesa he's acceptable but in the end not quite acceptable enough. >> i agree with everything john. one of the things that's been remarkable to me in the past week, we saw mitt romney not come pain on labor day.
i don't want to overstress the appearance factor here. i can't remember the last time that happened mitt romney doesn't embrace the ceremonial aspects of this retail. forfeited fund raising as oppose today campaigning and presenting himself. swing states very, very controlled. i do think this matter. i don't think it can be 1 -- presenting the case right now signature on well over $150 million they're planning on use forking fall tiegz buy. there's so many ads on so many races and so many different entities super pacs campaigns it has to be a clear message to break through. the other message they focused on is this welfare message about the gutting of welfare by president owe become ma. bill clinton did a lot to rebut that. that was a significant element of his speech.
in 004 when he come pained for john kerry. campaign in massachusetts he had his heart issue, troubles had begun healthwise. he trade there weapt a carryover effect. when it's about his open policies it will have an effect. >> charlie:do you think we will see a lot of bill clinton on this campaign. >> i do. >> charlie:where is it going to go? we don't know. >> global initial tivment i suspect he will go to a lot of battle ground states and do a version, maybe even a longer version of the speech he did last night and that will get a ton of coverage. what's powerful it speaks directly to the voters in play. it speaks to married women, speaks to subject suburban, whir men. it gives people a sense of if you believe in bill clinton's val daig, this is the right way to go.
that will be powerful in the retail left. let me say one thing about romney. one does not get the sense his attitude unshackle me, let me go to ohio, put me on the ground i will win these people over. it's not a mayor or governor's race. one does not have sense his schedule his attitude is i can win this if people get to know me. >> charlie:what do we look for now between now and debate. >> mitt romney to hit the yobs numbers real hard. yobs report coming out tomorrow. they're prespin thg is going to be what counters the convention week. mitt romney going on sawnd hoe this weekend to drive that message. >> charlie:whatever those numbers are big surprise continuation of what we've seen. >> speak he go of continuation of what we've seen, that's what we're going to see. i think we will see some more policy details get discussed but
nothing dramatic. president obama's campaign is going to build off whatever his speech is tonight and clinton speech. i don't think you're going to see any surprises with beyond a glut of advertising. everything is static. there could be bounce out of had this convention but i don't expect it will chaipg the fundamentals of race. it is where it is. >> charlie:thank you. thank you for joining us. see you tomorrow night